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Hoover Dam, originally known as Boulder Dam, is a 726-foot-high, 1,244-foot-wide, curved gravity dam, located approximately thirty miles from Las Vegas, Nevada, near the Arizona-Nevada border. The dam was constructed to impound waters from the Colorado River. The dam was the highest concrete arch dam in the country at the time of completion. It was formally renamed in honor of President Herbert Hoover in 1947. The resulting lake—Lake Mead—still the largest man-made reservoir in the country, at approximately 250 square miles. It is named after Elwood Mead, who served as the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936.

The plan for the construction of Boulder Dam had its origins in the early 1900s in California's Imperial Valley. Developers there believed that they ...

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